Starbucks Gets Award for Better Recycled Content

starbucksLogo.jpgSometimes I think Starbucks gets a hard time from people because they’re an easy target. That’s not to say they’re without flaws, or that the very idea of endless identical chain establishments isn’t interantly troubling. Still, it’s nice to give credit where credit is due. Starbucks has recently been honored by the National Recycling Coalition for upping the recycled content in their cups sufficiently to save five million pounds of tree fiber annually.
Apparantly the compay will also give away 5 pound bags of used coffee grounds for free to people who can use it as garden mulch. That I didn’t know about, did you? We might have to add it to the Starbucks Challenge questionaire.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

3 responses

  1. As a Starbucks Employee, I’d like to comment on this. Starbucks runs on “promotion phases”. During these phases we set aside weeks to support social responsibility. For example, brewing Fair Trade Coffee. So during a certain phase, regional markets will get Fair Trade for brewing in large quantities.
    It’s possible some regions may not get it for lack of sales, or other contextual issues relating to that market. That can be the internal business draw back: plus as a blend itself, Fair Trade is in limited quantity due to the Universal Regulation towards quality suppliers. From my review with Starbuck’s resources, Starbucks abides when it can find suppliers it can support because the bean stock is a quality stock.
    A small tidbit: Starbucks is doing their own internal thing. They search our estates, close-loop with them and support them. Our two newest blends do this.
    Back to brewing Fair Trade: EVERY Starbucks is required to brew ANY blend in the store if the customer wants it. This is done primarily by French Press. We’ll get out a french press and personally brew it for you. It can be cumbersome though, depending on how busy the store is, and the four-minute plus wait for it to brew.

  2. At most Starbucks in SoCal I have seen this bags sitting out on the shelves and in display baskets with a big “Free” sign. No question that the grounds are there, and free. I have a bag or two in my own compost bin here in Pasadena.

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